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Jumbo-Visma and Remco Evenepoel demand rivals slow for safety reasons as crash chaos hits Vuelta a España again

A second sketchy stage on rain-soaked Barcelona streets saw numerous crashes, including for Primož Roglič, red jersey Lorenzo Milesi and British rider Oscar Onley

The riders at the Vuelta a España will be glad to see the back of Barcelona. Two rain-sodden stages, overshadowed by crashes, risk and more than a touch of talk about rider safety have opened the final Grand Tour of the season, the second stage seeing Jumbo-Visma, Jonas Vingegaard and Remco Evenepoel saying enough is enough and slowing the peloton after a crash by Primož Roglič.

The Slovenian's teammates Dylan van Baarle and Vingegaard, as well as Evenepoel — who was outspoken about the "ridiculous" conditions last night's team time trial was contested in, and who began the day joking about "another day in paradise" — came to the front of the peloton, raised their arms and called on the Movistar rider on the front to slow.

The call came after a UAE Team Emirates rider, an Ineos Grenadiers rider, and Roglič had crashed at a roundabout moments earlier, the Dutch team seemingly unhappy at the pace being set ahead of future roundabouts.

The race organisers had made the pre-stage decision to bring the point at which the GC was taken forward to the 9km to go mark, ahead of the final climb and descent, hoping to mitigate the risk for anyone not wishing to contest the stage victory.

> More safety concerns as Vuelta a España pros left to ride through Barcelona in dark after "ridiculous" opening stage

However, there were always going to be crashes racing on wet urban roads rained on for the first time in weeks, dsm firmenich suffering a rude awakening from their dream start to the Vuelta, Oscar Onley crashing out with a suspected broken collarbone and red jersey Lorenzo Milesi dropping out of the lead group after another crash.

La Vuelta crash (GCN)
Lorenzo Milesi Vuelta crash (GCN)

"It was pretty slippy roads and they were trying to take the initiative to calm the bunch down," second-placed finisher on the stage Kaden Groves said, before admitting there were contrasting opinions in the bunch.

He continued: "It was a little bit awkward with ourselves and dsm trying to close the breakaway... today's a chance for us and that's why we had to race. They understand as well. We're not here on GC, we're a sprint team, sometimes crashes happen and we're willing to take that risk when there's a chance."

Jonas Vingegaard (GCN)

Ultimately, it was another day where the main talking points came away from the results list, however Andreas Kron of Lotto Dstny secured an emotional victory for his team in the week when U23 Paris-Roubaix winner Tijl De Decker died after a collision involving a motorist during a training ride. 

Kron pointed to the sky as he crossed the finish line, a win dedicated to his teammate. As the breakaway was still clear of the peloton at the 9km to go mark, where the timing was taken, EF Education-EasyPost's Andrea Piccolo will wear the red jersey tomorrow as the race heads north to Andorra with the promise of some sunshine.

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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